No more late work for IB students

Alban Guyon, Staff Writer

By Alban Guyon

Juniors Paige Harris and Kayla Keplinger received a zero on a recent IB History of Europe assignment because it was turned in late. 

“I was gonna do it during lunch,” explained Harris. “The first day I was like, that is intensely harsh,” added Keplinger.

The homework represented only 10 percent in the grade book so “it didn’t have a big impact on my grade,” said Keplinger. However, “I got into a habit,” she admitted. “Late work set me up for failure.”

Due to this bad experience, “I feel that I am more inclined to get my homework done,” said Harris. Without the new policy, “If I knew I could turn something in late, I would,” she said. 

Keplinger agreed it was definitely time for change: “We’re all gonna be like,’thank God they did that.’”

 Due to a recent IB diploma requirement, IB courses are required to ignore late work and to replace it with a zero in the grade book. This was done to motivate IB students to get their work completed on time.

“Our end goal is to help students demonstrate what they know and can do,” said Principal Danny Little. “The goal is to find out how we can prevent [turning in late work] from becoming a pattern.”

That does mean that all IB students are as positive about the change as Harris and Keplinger.

A source granted anonymity by The Page argued that this policy penalizes good students who might have forgotten about a certain assignment or just needed more time to work, and would rather get partial credit, but turn in better work. Now, “If you don’t have something on time, it’s not worth doing it at all.”

A zero “should only be placed on [late] major assignments,” said another anonymous source who disagrees with the policy. “We should not react by giving zeros because this is definitely not the way!” 

However, she admits that she is motivated to complete her work on time because a zero is “not forgiving to that.”

On the other hand, junior Haley Uncapher has neutral feelings about the policy. “It will help people to turn in things on time,” she said. “But late in the year it will stress people out and lead to lack of sleep and possibly affect mental health.” Uncapher believes that this policy represents the real world but “we’re not ready for that yet.”

Many students feel overwhelmed by their workload and the new policy “creates an environment where we are not motivated,” said an anonymous source. “There’s no point in trying again for partial credit.”

“In the real world there is some penalty for being late,” Little said. “You can turn it in late, but you will have this penalty to pay.” Little explained that job interviews and job applications are examples of times where being late penalized adults a lot; however, taxes can be paid late, but with extra fees. “We’re trying to make sure that we have that balance of both for our school.”

The IB diploma course does not want students “to develop those habits [of turning things late] which will prevent you from achieving your goals,” he added.

English teacher Kelly Boyd claimed she is benefitting from the policy because “I am not grading something a month late. However, she does not want a citywide policy because “we are all individuals.” 

Boyd explains that both the old and new systems have their pros and cons, but the overall question to determine the best system for the students is, “How do we know the best method to get information?”